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Graphic Arts : General Introduction

The 760s cover printmaking of all types. A quote from The Oxford Companion to Art (1970) is useful here:

In the OED, the graphic arts are defined as the 'the fine arts of drawing, painting, engraving, etching, etc.,' but the term became current with a more restricted application to engraving and illustration in their various forms. A further limitation now generally restricts the term to the aesthetic rather than the reproductive or illustrative function of graphic processes and histories of 'graphic art' in general concentrate on engraving, lithography, etc., as art forms rather than their commercial and reproductive uses.

The printing techniques involved in the graphic arts can be divided into three groups:

1. Intaglio
Processes include, among others, etching, steel engraving, aquatint, and mezzotint.
2. Planographic Techniques
These include lithography, silk screen, and serigraphy.
3. Relief Printing
Includes woodblocks and linoleum cuts. These, generally, have their own subject headings.

The 760s, then, contain aesthetic printing of all types, as well as somewhat more mundane (but still fascinating to their respective aficionados) types of printing: rubberstamping, the making of small cards of all descriptions (postcards, sports collecting cards, tarot and playing cards and paper ephemera, etc.), the manufacture of miniature prints (postage stamps and related labels), of paper currency, or of what have you, including paper dolls and potato prints.

The 760s also include, of course, the history, appreciation and collection of the above art forms, like planography or postage stamps, or the biographies of famous practitioners of the arts and related figures. The practitioners include the historic, be it Piranesi, Durer, Rembrandt, Hogarth, Hokusai, Goya, Blake, Currier & Ives, Daumier, and Cassatt, or the more modern, such as Beardsley, Munch, Mucha, Ernst, Picasso, Sloan, Shahn, Warhol, and Max. There are a host of others in either category, as almost every famous artist at least dabbled in these formats. Thus books can be found on the artistic periods and genres within these forms of art, such as Renaissance, Impressionism, Surrealism, Pop, and the like.

Printed books, a subject as old as the Chinese introduction of paper (in the 14th century), were once included among the graphic arts. Indeed, early books and their illustrations were the progenitors of the modern graphic arts, and book printing types are, in essence, a graphic art in themselves. However, books are today mostly confined, in the Dewey 760s at least, to book illustrations and to livres de peintre (books devoted primarily or exclusively to the graphic productions of a particular artist).